London pilots

thunderd
20th April 2005, 00:36
I need some help with my faulty memory. In the fifties when we used to sail into London I have this persistant memory of using up to 3 pilots,the river pilot, the mud pilot and the dock pilot. I know it was a complicated trip up the Thames but I am sure I am wrong however the memory still sticks in there, can anybody set me straight please.

B.Bass
20th April 2005, 05:20
Your memory serves you well,there were 3 pilots involved although the "mud pilot" also acted as helmsman from Gravesend inward

thunderd
20th April 2005, 05:29
Many thanks for clearing that up, I really thought I was wrong, it's been bugging me for ages

HGRussell
26th June 2008, 23:17
Hi Thunderd,I was one of those pilots.Your ship would have had a channel pilot from the sea pilot station off Harwich or Dungeness.Then a River Pilot from Gravesend to London then a Dock Pilot in the docks who sometimes acted as a helmsman going up the river (whilst the pilot sorted out the Captains newspapers).Things have now changed and only one pilot is often used and only Tilbury Docks remain open.Harold Russell

R798780
26th June 2008, 23:35
Docking at Tilbury,'64 to '71 it was always Messrs Wynn and Fothergill who took the Brocklebank ships I was on from Gravesend and into the docks

stan mayes
27th June 2008, 00:29
Hello Hugh,
I knew Gilbert Fothergill quite well,he was pilot for Bustards ships - Empire Baltic - Empire Celtic etc,,
You may also have known George Atkinson and Colin Pugh who piloted Glen Line,Elder Dempster and Johnson Line and earlier was Vic Tyrrel for Palm Line..
Regards - Stan

vasco
27th June 2008, 06:09
The ones I remember are a Mr Norrie(?) and his helmsman, always the same. These did Houlders.

R798780
27th June 2008, 10:34
Stan

I only recall Wynn & Fothergill from repetition - and a 2nd or 3rd mate telling me it was always these two - and as apprentice entering the Bridge Movement Book with "Pilots Wynn and Fothergill board". I can't remember if the river pilot went off at that point or waited untill the locks/docks. The abiding memory is that one was in uniform, and the one taking the helm into the locks was in civies, complete with flat cap. But which name was which escapes me.

Cheers

pete
27th June 2008, 13:45
I can remember Frankie Lofts' crew of Watermen from Gravesend and one in particular was George Tidd. A real character, he was the "Knuckle 'arry" of Sou'west India Dock. He and my father got well and truly p****d one night and George drove him home in his Merc. and then flaked out on the front room floor.
The last time I saw any of that motley crew was in Silvertown back in late '73.
Good times now long gone......sigh!!...........................pete

Pat Kennedy
27th June 2008, 20:04
I can remember boarding the London pilot at Brixham, then a river pilot somewhere near the Nore, then the mud pilot and helmsman somewhere just short of the Royal Docks. But outward bound, I cant remember this succession of pilots. I seem to remember the mud pilot getting off at the locks, then a sea pilot all the way out into the channel, sometimes, he would stay on board all the way to Hamburg or Rotterdam and board another London bound ship in that port.
The Elbe pilots certainly seemed to be familiar with their London counterparts.
Maybe this was just Blue Funnel, they just had to be different!
Regards,
Pat

HGRussell
28th June 2008, 00:48
Hi again everybody it is nice to know that all these names stand out in the memories of seafarers as they were characters all in their own right unfortunately the majority have gone to the big dock in the sky.I think Colin Pugh is still around.Harold Russell

Hugh Ferguson
24th October 2008, 20:16
Hello Hugh,
I knew Gilbert Fothergill quite well,he was pilot for Bustards ships - Empire Baltic - Empire Celtic etc,,
You may also have known George Atkinson and Colin Pugh who piloted Glen Line,Elder Dempster and Johnson Line and earlier was Vic Tyrrel for Palm Line..
Regards - Stan

I well remember Gilbert having a nasty fall off of a pilot ladder back onto the tug he was boarding from. I had watched him climbing and there appeared to be no reason whatever for his losing his hold. Did you ever hear anything about it, Stan? Regards, Hugh. (And by the way, did you ever know a Derek Godfrey who was once in one of those Empire boats?)